Active Week

My niece, Catherine is seventeen today, and also has her first Driving Lesson booked, Happy Birthday Cath, have a Great Day! love from the both of us, and good luck with the lesson, I hope the town was given plenty of warning! 😀

Pépe has decided it is time to try his luck! after his last escapade, this week, he has ruined one more dog bed, and tried to ruin two more. His flat cushion in the Office has had the rip ripped off, and he has been getting at the foam inside, so that is now stapled together.

I had replaced his cage in the corale with a nice comfy bed we had bought for Charlie, (for those of you who didn\’t know Charlie, he was a rescue dog, but because he frightened Marcela he had to go!) after a couple of nights using it, he decided to start chewing it, so I replaced that before it was totally ruined, with a special bed we had bought for Pépe, it is an open weave canvas on a metal frame, which allows the air to circulate, and is supposed to be excellent for Schnauzers, but he started on the canvas yesterday, so that has gone back into storage for now.

Now Pépe has his cage back, with just a blanket in it, and it will stay that way, until he stops chewing!

Yesterday, we went shopping, and whilst out, I decided that because the main DIY Store here gives a good discount on Tools etc. if you have a card belonging to a Bank associated with a big Store here, I would apply, if I paid it off each month, it would save me a lot of money. We went through the process, and everything was OK, until the Assessor told me that, within 10 minutes her HQ would ring me on my mobile to confirm the details given, and I was to tell them I had lived in Colombia for 3-4 years… No, I wasn\’t going to tell lies, if they wouldn\’t give me the store card, then I would go without.

Anyway, sure enough the Bank rang me back, confirmed the details, and ten minutes later I was phoned and asked to return to the Bank Desk, as I had been accepted. But on my return, I found they were not just giving me a Store Card, but a Credit Card, because of my income, and when he told me my Limit, Marcela all but shouted \”How Much?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!\”, it was nearly as much as that given by my own Bank, and Marcela already had her shopping spree planned, sorry Love, but you spend it, we have to pay it back! Nice thought though, and no waiting, the card was prepared and waiting.

I started my slimming treatments yesterday, that was the heat gel, with an electronically heated belt on top of that, the result was not nice! I won\’t make you throw up your dinner by describing it. Today, it was massages, starting with a vibrating platform, I had to stand on for ten minutes, then I was taken to a treatment room, and subjected to torture!! oil applied and then my stomach was attacked with various wooden implements, and knowing Marcela was outside waiting for me to start screaming, I bit my tongue, but I was certainly glad when the woman (Pila) stopped. Tomorrow I have the first of the injections. It had better work! Marcela is now waiting for tonight or tomorrow to see if I come out in bruises like she did, I have to be honest, it will be a miracle, if I am not blacker than her by morning!

There are still many things in Colombia that I haven\’t got used to, as much as I hate to say it, the Police here have a long way to go, before they are anything like efficient, in that I include the Organisation who are responsible for enforcing traffic laws \’Transito\’, I am not quite sure where the two organisations draw the line on responsibilities, but you will often see them both manning road checks.

I don\’t know how I have avoided having an accident, Drivers totally ignore the laws, you meet vehicles coming the other way on one-way streets, traffic lights still have no meaning, and unless you are in the city, where they have junction cameras, taxis are the worst offenders. and if you are sat at a red light, they will mount the kerb to go down your inside and straight through. Motorcyclists pass you on all sides, wearing nothing more than T-shirt, shorts and flip flops, at times it can be quite stressful, and yet it would only take a policy decision to clamp down on this, and in so doing reduce not only the fatality rate, but the number of people visiting Hospitals.

Private Taxis do a roaring trade, and by that I mean illegal taxis using their own cars, Marcela explained that when a person doesn\’t want to register, or can\’t afford the permits, then they go to the \’Bacrim\’ ( Crime Gangs ) who rule the area, and for a percentage of the takings, they are in business, and no lone Policeman is going to take on the Bacrim, official Taxis complained, then received a visit, now all is quiet! If you are in one of these taxis and have an accident, you are not covered by insurance, so you pluck up courage and visit the Bacrim, they will they visit the Driver and \’arrange\’ compensation.

Well, that\’s my gripe for the day, I\’m sure I will think of more for next time!

Published by Phil Sale

I moved to Colombia from Spain in 2012, and I am happily married to a Colombiana.

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